New gadget = new show?

I’ve just got hold of a new gadget – the Zoom H1 portable recorder. This handy piece of kit replaces my old mp3 recorder with some much improved mics and electronics, giving a much higher quality recording.

Although this is intended for recording interviews at shows and events, it also means that I can actually record a podcast with decent quality audio with being tied to my laptop.

Which brings me to a question. Meeples & Miniatures has generally evolved into an in-depth review and interview show. I have been very concious to try and keep the running time down to under 2 hours, which tends to mean that there is no longer a lot of time given to any editorial comment or general ‘chat’.

I’ve previously tried to counter this with the ‘Incoming’ shows, and whilst I limited these to simply cover new minis releases, I’m thinking that it would be better if I had a more ‘general’ show to cover any news that has caught my eye.

I’m thinking to produce these either:

    • Every weekday, lasting 10-15 minutes
    • Twice a week (Monday & Thursday?) lasting 20-25 minutes

However, before I embark on anything new, I’m wondering if there is an appetite for this amongst current podcast listeners.

As an alternative, I could look to make the existing podcast a more regular twice-monthly show. If the show was twice monthly, one would remain in the current format, and the other would be much more of an ‘editorial’ style show, and would be aimed at lasting about 60 minutes.

Let me know what you think…

20 Comments on New gadget = new show?

  1. HI Neil

    I think the 3rd option of twice a month would be better and would probably allow you a chance to keep up with them


    • I have also thought of another option, which is a 30 minute show once a week…

      That would mean nothing would be particularly ‘old news’

    • Another thought as to why I suggested a daily or twice weekly show – a small, 10-15 minute podcast is actually much easier to record and edit rather than a bigger, 60 minute show.

      • Yes, yes it is. 60 minutes is about the max that I’m willing to do. Part of the reason why I haven’t done all the editing for a 2+hr interview episode I recorded about 7 or 8 months ago.

  2. Neil,

    I think you’re a podcastaholic. I can’t believe how many high quality shows you release. The time you must spend recording and editing the shows just boggles my mind.

    That said, why not a 4th option? Why not do a new show with someone else where you can inject your editorial comment as part of that show. Maybe you’d be able to get the other person to handle the recording and/or editing thereby saving you some time and allowing the show to release more frequently.

    My own show is an hour, roughly, in length and that is a lot of work to create and listen to. I find that I enjoy listening to short episodes. One of my favorite non-gaming shows is the Married Man Podcast. At most they get up to 40 minutes but usually they hover around 20-30 minutes.

    I could see you doing a weekly or monthly 15-30 minute show. Or, you could just record an editorial show (equivalent to my 1/2 episodes, i.e. episode 50 1/2) where you release extra information whenever you feel the need.

    BTW, I have a Zoom H2. I’m not fully versed in it but I do like it. The H1 had a lot of positive things said about it in the library technological journals I read (they’re geared for non-tech library staff). The H2 is good too but I’ve found that recording at a con can be tricky because of the background noise.

    I used an iRiver before, which was dreadful. Another recording option is a smartphone if you have one. I get decent enough recordings on my iPhone.

    • I used to use a recorder similar to an iRiver, but it was a real pain – very un-user friendly.

      I tried a recording using a tie-mic into my blackberry, but the quality was awful.

      I was looking at the H2, and it would maybe have been a better option, but I was somewhat constrained by budget and time – The H2 is twice the price of the H1, and I wanted something to use at the end of March.

      • I was ready to purchase the H1 but BestBuy had a fantastic deal through eBay for a refurbished H2 with extra accessories for less than what a new H2 sells for. The refurbished one has worked nicely. But, it was around $100 USD. If I didn’t find that deal, then I would definitely have purchased the H1. I think you will be very happy with it.

        I’m actually trying to learn about affordable, easy to use, and decent setups that would allow me to interview more people in person at the same time. For example, I’d need more microphones and some way to tie them all in together so the audio gets brought directly into a Macbook. Right now I record on my iMac using Skype or Talkshoe when guests come on. When it is just me I use Audacity (then Levelator, and then Garageband).

        That 2 hour show I mentioned used a single Blue Snowball mic that one of the guests had for when he plays guitar. It picked up the audio but the volume was too soft. Multiple mics (a la is the way to go. WWPD has better gear because the main host was in a band and kept the gear.

        I expect that you will love the H1.

  3. Toughie.

    I *like* the longer shows – some of them have been absolute classics, and seriously thought-provoking. My problem at the moment is not having a long commute any more to listen to them! 😀

    I’d go for the twice-monthly option, personally.

  4. I expect your audience is as diverse as their opinions on who long and how often you should cast. Its a toughie (to coin Mikes phrase) but I think its a question for you more than your listeners.

  5. What BigLee said. Don’t embark on a new venture you don’t feel comfortable with, just because a majority of commentators (which’s most likely a minority among listeners) “demands” it.
    Personally, I do like longer shows for I listen to them while painting – which, in turn, is concentrated on one morning or night per weekend.

    That said, I also loved the Incoming 2.0 shows and would welcome them back in any disguise.


  6. Excellent choice. I bought the Zoom H2n and it arrived today. I couldn’t justify the cost of the H4n which is a fantastic bit of kit.
    So with my new toy in the post I’m off to test it 🙂

  7. Runs With Scissors // March 6, 2012 at 22:26 // Reply

    Whatever keeps you from deciding that it’s all too much effort and jacking it in! Yes I like the longer shows, so given the choice I’d go for 2 a month, but don’t feel like you’re committed to a particular format. You’ve jumped around with the format a lot over the years but hey, we’re still listening. Like painting, don’t let it turn into a chore. And thanks for all the great shows over the years.

  8. Mike Blake // March 7, 2012 at 00:25 // Reply

    I agree fully with BigLee……I am pleased to see a podcast from you whether it is once a week or once a month, or once a quarter.

  9. How about an editorial show whenever you feel like it? No set schedule or guarantees, just saw this, thought this and recorded it.

    • this is actually the best suggestion out there, whilst it’s great to have a schedule, we have to remeber this is not your day job so having podacsts come out as and when you feel like recording one would be the best of all worlds

  10. Markus Schenk // March 7, 2012 at 09:39 // Reply

    I am more for the 1-2 per month version, as this allows to be more flexible. As daily work do not always let you find the time to do something. So I would suggest 1-2 per month and around 30 min +/- a few minutes. Let’s not forget we all have some life next to the wargames and painting table and it is a big work you do with producing the show.

    By the way your new recorder reminds me a bit of the Tricorder from star trek…

  11. Hey Neil,

    I think that you know that we all here love the idea of more stuff in general. I’m just a bit concerned about the additional workload on your part. Thus, I think that a daily podcast or a podcast every other day would be seriously hard to keep up for anybody.

    I greatly appreciate the longer shows (the longer the runtime the better to me actually). I like listening to them while painting and such. So I, just like many others, am a fan of the twice-a-month idea. Keeping Meeples and Miniatures running as it is basically and an additional “Incoming”-show (that’s how I understood your idea at least). I know that times are incredibly fast nowadays but especially with miniature wargaming and boardgames it’s not as essential if the news come in weekly or maybe one, two weeks later.

    Well, all that’s left to say is that I’m looking forward to hearing the new audio. 😉

    – Sigur

  12. I’m a big fan of all of your podcasts, both the review & interview shows, and the parts where you give comments, thoughts and opinions about the hobby. I don’t always agree with your comments (point systems, Flames of War), but I find them thought provoking and interesting.

    Personally, I would prefer longer, less frequent shows to having daily sound-bites. But at the end of the day, I would like you to choose the format which suits you best, and focus upon the topics which really motivate you. Your enthusiasm for the hobby is wonderfully contagious. 🙂

    I used to listen to the show while painting models, but I realised I was missing to much of what was being said while concentrating on the painting. Now I listen to the shows while on the bus, so I can give the podcasts the attention they deserve.

    My only request is to have more VIEWS FROM THE VERANDA. Henry and you have a wonderful vibe, whether you are discussing a well planned topic, or just musing about the hobby.

    Thanks for all you podcasting hard work,


  13. Sorry for the lateness…

    Twice a month for me. Gives you more time to focus (on life too).


  14. Whatever fits most naturally into your life, I’m sure I’ll listen to it. Maybe experience has shown that there is going to be time-creep and once you get started, you have more and more to say, so the short shows might end up being longer less frequent shows anyway.

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